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How Rex Harrison saved my bacon September 29, 2005

Posted by Administrator in Drama, Personal.
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Well, we had the opening, and I see that I am still not really recovered. We had two shows today, and I was a sweating wreck for both of them; and NOT out of nervousness. I simply do not have my energy back yet. The director pretty much ORDERED me home to bed at the end of the day. . .so it’s evident not only to me that more rest is in order here.

My songs went OK as far as that goes, knowing that I have a fairly problematic upper respiratory infection. The biggest problems came about from 1) being betrayed by my voice into cracking uncontrollably on occasion, particularly on long-held notes, and more troubling is 2) having to take HUGE, GASPING BREATHS with each measure. Microphones pick these up really well. . .and there is nothing to be done about it. The audience simply has to hear me gasp.

But, there IS a partial solution.

The gentleman up pictured above is Rex Harrison, a noted screen actor from the ’50s through the ’80s. He is pictured with his co-star -the incomparable Audrey Hepburn- from his likely most famous film, My Fair Lady.

Anyone who has watched Mr. Harrison at work recognizes the following: He is a very good dresser; he has excellent command and diction of the English language; he physically commands every scene he is in, but not in an overpowering fashion; and he speaks his way through all of his songs that he performs in musicals, most notably the abovementioned Lady and Dr. Doolittle.

WHY he does this is beyond me. I’ve always suspected that he would have been a fine singer if he’d had some training, but he always insisted on sing-speaking.

And here’s the thing, he does an absolutely awesome job of it. Watch him perform “Talk to the Animals” from Doolittle or “A Bachelor’s Life” from Lady and you know what I am talking about. While it might not be as pleasant aurally as listening to Sinatra, he still tells a helluva story with the songs he speaks; and in some ways makes them even better in the telling.

So, when presented with those occasional notes and stanzas that present too much of a challenge for me either due their complexity, my greenness or my current infirmity, I have the comforting example of Mr. Harrison, whom I can attempt to emulate but can never truly recreate.

Thank you, Sir Rex. I shall create a new verb tomorrow night, when I tell the director that we are “Rex-Harrisoning” my song for the real opening.

See also:

Crime of the Scene
Audition Update
Theater Teaching Parenting
Beauty Opens Tomorrow


Yeah, tell me again how science is objective September 28, 2005

Posted by Administrator in Cultural Pessimism, Mechanistic Relativism, MSM, Politics.
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The UK Journal Times Online published this fantastically irresponsible story about how we Christians actually degrade society by adding to abortion, violence and so on.

Here is the key quote:

“In general, higher rates of belief in and worship of a creator correlate with higher rates of homicide, juvenile and early adult mortality, STD infection rates, teen pregnancy and abortion in the prosperous democracies.

I already went off here on how the Left will twist science to its own agenda. They’re doing it again here.

Note the bold word; “CORRELATE”. This does NOT prove anything scientifically. They may have a point, they may not. There is no way that this “study” has controlled all other possible contaminating factors. For all they know, they have simply uncovered a convenient (for them) coincidence.

All they are doing is comparing demographic data, noting some negative correlations, then claiming we Christians are in essence causing the downfall of society.

But they are marketing this to ignorant dingbats throughout the West as “science.”

The next time some MoonBat tells me they have science on their side, they are going to be sent to this post, here and over to bloghogger where we also find that the American Psychological Association decertified homosexuality as a mental disorder due to popular demand, NOT due to “science.”

Don’t let your Lefty friends deceive you. They don’t use science to prove anything. They wield science in the name of their own religion.

“Beauty” “Opens” tomorrow September 28, 2005

Posted by Administrator in Drama, Personal.
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Sort of. What we do is we perform two shows in front of local schoolchildren. They are paying customers (at a discount), and the house is full, so it can be viewed as an “opening”, when in fact what we are doing is working out the last of the technical bugs for the REAL opening Friday night.

But, Sunday AM I came down with a sore throat. . .that has now transmogrified into bronchitis. My voice has dropped an octave, I am short of breath and a serious cough, not to mention seriously tired. (The only reason I am writing this is because I am bored out of my mind having been flat on my back now for two days. Stir-craziness is a real possibility).

So, we shall see how THAT goes.

My singing has proceeded apace. The song is workable. I do probably as well as Tom Bosley did on Broadway (and he is no singer); between hitting my notes and occasionally Rex-Harrisoning some of the more drawn out notes, I think I will make my debut tomorrow as a singer well enough.

Just pray that my pipes all clear up enough so that I can even talk my way through it.

You know that old adage, “The show must go on”? It’s true. It must go on. And it WILL go on. I have to be there unless I am somehow hospitalized.

Links to previous articles on Beauty and the Beast

Crime of the Scene
Audition Update
Theater Teaching Parenting

Working mothers and the rot in education September 27, 2005

Posted by Administrator in Cultural Pessimism, Education, Parenting.
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Seems that the governor of Georgia cancelled a couple of days of school in anitcipation of a fuel shortage that never materialized. Not that I blame him. Districts all over the country are going to be up against it at the end of the year having paid an average of $2.80/gallon of diesel when even the most pessimistic planners were budgeting for $2.00/gallon. One way to avoid this is to cancel school so that the busses don’t run.

But the quote from cnn that kills me is the following:

“It’s certainly caused a lot of problems for working parents today, and it causes problems for these kids who need to be learning and not just hanging out, watching the Cartoon Network at home,” said mother Randy Faigin David of suburban Atlanta.

And here, ladies and gentlemen, we come to the invidious, odious, putrid soul that is general education (public or otherwise): It is a pain in the ass for working parents to have their children at home.

When you cut it down to its basic nut, we are not talking about missed instruction; only hardcore NEA members believe that serious instruction occurs in the public schools anymore. We are talking about removing state-sponsored daycare so that Mummy and Daddy can go out and pursue that almighty dollar.

The primary service that public education (specifically) and general education (generally) provides is not education, but daycare.

Getting the kids out of the house.

And this is why our knowledge scores compared to other industrialized countries continue to fall. We’re not really trying to teach the kids, we’re simply trying to watch them. Keep ’em out of trouble. Have them do something, ANYTHING other than drone out in front of the Cartoon Network.

Excuse me, Ms. Faigin-David-Cutthroat: Do you control your kids’ access to the Tube when they ARE home from school? My bottom dollar guesses not.

I know whereof I speak. The school I used to administer had parents pushing for all-day Kindergarten. My studies of research indicated that this was a questionable move at best, and observations of the students suggested that we would be asking more of them than they were ready to give in doing so.

But when I asked the parents (in my innocence) why they wanted this, the most common response I got was not more quality instruction (yes, it did come up), but rather the interest in freeing up more time for Mom (usually) to do whatever it was she felt she needed to do on weekdays. That was the almost universally acknowledged benefit that was sought.

So I stonewalled the idea, and it never happened. But I knew the desire was out there, and apparently for the wrong reason.

It was evident in the push for all-day Kindergarten.

It was evident in those who pushed for all-day pre-school.

It was grossly evident in those families who dropped their child at daycare at 6AM, went to preschool from 8-12, and then returned to daycare from 12-6PM. 12 hours of institutionalized care. And then the harassed parents would arrive (late, more often than not), quickloy usher this kid into the car, often with a backhanded slam about how her kid seemed unhappy and angry all the time.

Gee, I wonder why?

I expect that mom got her kid into all-day Kinder just as fast as she could.

Somewhere in the Catechism of the Catholic Church it states that:

Parents are the first educators of their children.

It then goes on to state that homeschooling is the ideal, if achievable, means of doing.

In this self-absorbed culture? I think not.

Yet another instance of the greatness of the Church in standing up to such an entrenched, popular and flat-out wrong position.

Some of my loonie-Leftie connections challenge me, saying that I am an ossified, unwilling-to-change conservative.

When in fact the opposite is true. I am a revolutionary, advocating for the overturning of the entrenched, liberal mindset that all is well in American Education.

Parenting woes September 24, 2005

Posted by Administrator in Family, Parenting.
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I cannot recall the reference, but I once read a story where the protagonist was recalling his childhood. He had committed some idiot atrocity. As I remember it, he had grossly endangered both his own life and that of his little sister for the sake of a physical thrill. It ended with his sister breaking her leg, when she could easily have died. To his credit, when the game went awry and she became endangered, the boy did everything he could to save her, hence her broken leg instead of an early death.

When his father discovered this, he gently called the boy out to the woodshed (after tending to the daughter), and announced he was going to strap the boy, and that with each strap the boy needed to cry out to God that the sister was OK. The boy willingly complied.

Later, the boy crept down the stairs of his house, to see his father weeping by the fire while being embraced by his mother, the belt used for the strapping burning in the fireplace.

Among the points I think the author was trying to make was that there are times parents have to use severe consequences to correct the behavior of their children, and that the parents don’t like using the methods, may even outright abhor them, but the need to teach overrides all other considerations.

The infliction of pain, oddly enough, is one of those morally neutral behaviors. The intent determines its moral validity. When my son has a splinter in his foot, I must dig it out, which increases his pain. Yet, this is morally valid, in that I am subjecting him to some pain now in exchange for freedom from future pain. But, if I slap my son because I want him to know who is in charge, that is an act of domination, not one of love, and the infliction of pain is sinful. Sadism is clearly sinful.

But the pain associated with learning, so long as the teacher is doing it out of a genuine desire to teach, to discipline (from dictionary.com:

dis·ci·pline Audio pronunciation of “discipline” ( P ) Pronunciation Key (ds-pln)

1. Training expected to produce a specific character or pattern of behavior, especially training that produces moral or mental improvement.)(we might call this high discipline),

there the intent is one of loving correction, even if the methods are painful for the teacher. No truly loving parent or teacher enjoys seeing their children in pain, but sometimes that pain must take place for the child to learn whatever minor disciplines are required to achieve the high discipline defined above.

There are times I really dislike my job as a father. There are times when the stubbornness, defiance or foolishness of my children demands severe consequences, and I so want to not hurt them further, yet I know that if I do not discipline, the future hurt will be even worse. So I do apply the discipline, in the hopes that they will become disciplined themselves.

But there is absolutely no satisfaction in punishment. Right now, I fervently wish I would never have to punish again.

Sadly, my kids are still young. Now, after just having passed my 40th birthday, I understand the appeal of grandaparenting.

There, you are considered a good role player if you DON’T discipline!

MoonBat Left needs to calm down and even listen to the MSM for once September 24, 2005

Posted by Administrator in Cultural Pessimism, Global Warming, MSM, Politics.
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CNN reports here responsible scientists saying (for once) that global warming has nothing to do with the recent onset of monster Hurricanes Katrina and Rita.

More telling is the following excerpt:

In the September's issue of the journal Science, Peter Webster and Judith Curry documented a 60 percent global jump in major hurricanes with winds of 131 mph or more and a 1-degree increase in the tropical ocean surface temperature.

But Webster warned on Georgia Tech's Web site that more study was needed before blaming global warming.

"We need a longer data record of hurricane statistics," he said, "and we need to understand more about the role hurricanes play in regulating the heat balance and circulation in the atmosphere and oceans."

Willoughby said he is keeping an open mind about the role of global warming but believes it won't be a factor for at least another 100 years.

"The answer I give everybody, because it has all been so politicized, is I don't know," he said.

Gray was more direct. "There are all these medicine men out there who want to capitalize on general ignorance on this subject," he said.

(Italics are mine)

One can easily see the more unstable elements of the Left spouting that Bush's rejection of the Kyoto accord (let us not forget, defeated in the Senate by a vote of 99-0) claiming that the above article supports their position;global warming causes killer hurricanes.

But let's look at this quote again:

In the September's issue of the journal Science, Peter Webster and Judith Curry documented a 60 percent global jump in major hurricanes with winds of 131 mph or more and a 1-degree increase in the tropical ocean surface temperature.

The LoonLeft would have us believe that with the current rise in world temperatures CAUSE this increase in hurricane strength.

But, as I teach in psychology, all we have here is a correlation, and correlations do not prove causation. If the causation were true, how do you explain the killer hurricanes of 1915 that smacked both NO and Galveston, during a period of decided cold in North America?

Then there is this requote:

Gray was more direct. "There are all these medicine men out there who want to capitalize on general ignorance on this subject," he said.

Global warming is in fact becoming a religion for the more unstable Left. Just as all the world's ills in the ancient, pagan world were attributed to unpredictable gods, so now all our ills are blamed on the god of Global Warming.

Someone needs to alert the ACLU. We need judicial activists to act NOW and stop the spread of this nefarious religion that already has hold of many goverment institutions.

A public appeal to the GodofBiscuits September 23, 2005

Posted by Administrator in Blogging, Catholicism, Cultural Pessimism.
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While I may well be inviting tremendous fire upon my head from Frisco, so be it. It is worth the risk in hopes that you will actually hear words that we have been trying to say here over and over. Go here and here to read two very moving essays on subjects that you regularly comment upon.

Testimony from a strong Catholic woman that could have been your sister.

Food for thought only. No malice, no sarcasm. Please, just give the words a chance.

A worthwhile site September 22, 2005

Posted by Administrator in Blogging, Catholicism.
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I know he’s in my friends and neighbors bar to the right, but you need to check out Mark Shea right away. His site is chock full of interesting goodies, not to mention cogent and intelligent commentary, and he is a subtle yet fierce apologist. . .even if he doesn’t think he is (actually, I have little idea on what he thinks of himself). Much of what I often wish to say or have said Mark seems to have said first.

Check him out and make a donation. Voices like his are too valuable.

Prime comparisonse between 9/11 and Katrina September 17, 2005

Posted by Administrator in MSM, Politics.
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Mercy me.

Check this out. Provides a wonderful comparison re: nature of the disaster and relative responses for both 9/11 and Katrina.

Makes for sobering and vindicating reading.

And it really ought to put Michael Moore and his sententious Letter to Republicans in the shade.

Tips to Chet over at Seek Truth for the link.

Racist demogoguery debunked. September 16, 2005

Posted by Administrator in Cultural Pessimism, Politics.
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I am getting REALLY TIRED of left-bent Maison de Lune (See Beauty and the Beast [the Broadway version] for the reference) refugees babbling about how Katrina response is racist in nature.

Michelle Malkin offers a link to an essay that just completely blows this sinister nonsense out of the fetid water.

The reality is that when idiots like Louis Farrakhan claim that white people blew up the levee to drown out the blacks and keep the white neighboorhoods dry, they are engaging in racism, pure and simple.

From dictionary.com: Racism: Discrimination or prejudice based on race.

How is Farrakhan’s vitriolic babble and the rest of the MoonBat Left’s claims that this is all race-related not racism in itself??

Though I seemingly joke that when Michael Moore is projecting when he keeps using the word “hate” in relation to conservatives, I am in fact being serious.

The Left is consumed with hatred: hatred for Republicans, for Christians, for family values. Truly, they hate the West, and to a greater extent, even themselves. They then are projecting their hatred onto Conservatives, blaming them for the very sins they hold deep in their Blue-State heart-of-hearts.